Seely Sixth Overall at Glen Helen National, Craig Injured
With heavy hearts, Team Honda HRC took part in round two of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, California, dedicating their efforts to Nicky Hayden, who passed away last Monday. It was a rollercoaster day for the squad. In moto 1, both Cole Seely and Christian Craig grabbed stellar starts aboard their CRF450Rs and were running 2-3 after the first lap. Throughout the remainder of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race, the two Red Riders battled up front, swapping positions multiple times before Craig took the checkered flag in a career-best fourth position while Seely slipped back to seventh.
In moto two, Craig scored his second holeshot of the season and began setting an impressive pace out front. He maintained the lead for several laps before falling back two spots. While running third at the halfway point, Craig went down before the sand section, injuring his hand and forcing him to the sideline. Meanwhile, Seely had gotten a poor start and was sitting 13th after the completion of the opening lap. He struggled to find his groove during the 15-lap race but still managed to work his way up to eighth by the finish.
- On Friday, hundreds of fans turned out at Malcolm Smith Motorsports in Riverside, California, to meet their favorite riders at the pre-race pit party. Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely and test rider Andrew Short, as well as GEICO Honda fill-in rider Christian Craig and 250 riders Jeremy Martin, Cameron McAdoo, and Jimmy Decotis were on hand to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
- Having been seriously injured last year in a practice crash, former All-Japan MX 250 Champion Toshiki Tomita returned to action at Glen Helen under the Team Honda HRC awning in hopes of building consistent results. Tomita was forced to qualify into the afternoon program via the consolation race and although he finished 25th in the first moto, his score improved in the second race, in which he finished 17th.
- The Glen Helen track showcases a challenging layout with large jumps, long and drastic elevation changes, and the infamous Talladega first turn. This year, that section actually featured a pair of 90 degree turns, with riders then heading uphill instead of sweeping around the normal 180 degree right-hander.
- For the second consecutive week, Craig was the top Red Rider in the day’s qualifying, securing the seventh-fastest time at 2:22.105, while Seely notched ninth with 2:22.177.
- It was an exciting day for GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin as he secured his first podium finish of the season with second overall. In moto 1, the Minnesota native was quick out of the gate, grabbing the holeshot aboard his CRF250R. Once out front, Martin never looked back, dominating the competition on his way to victory. During the second moto, he once again grabbed the holeshot and early lead but a mistake on the first lap saw him fall back in the pack. By the checkered flag, he had managed to work his way into seventh, still securing the podium spot.
- The Honda Red Riders will return to action Saturday, June 3, for round 3 of the AMA Pro Motocross series in Lakewood, Colorado, also known as the Thunder Valley National. On Friday, Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda will visit Sun Enterprises for an autograph session.
THE FOCUS: Tribute to “The Kentucky Kid”
With the loss of Red Bull Honda World Superbike racer Nicky Hayden earlier in the week, there were heavy hearts for crewmembers, riders and fans at Glen Helen. Although all were focused on the racing activities, they took time to remember and celebrate the life of the 2006 MotoGP World Champion. In a show of solidarity, Team Honda HRC wore black ribbon pins on the collars of their crew shirts, while riders showcased Hayden’s signature “69” logo on their gear. For the second week, Cole Seely’s and Christian Craig’s CRF450Rs were adorned with “69” stickers on the front number plates, and the team’s semis were also equipped with new graphics to pay respect.
On display under the Team Honda HRC tent was Hayden’s 2002 AMA Superbike Championship bike, which was also taken to the podium for an official moment of silence during opening ceremonies. During the 250 podium celebration, GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin held up a Hayden sticker in place of his champagne bottle, which he refrained from opening.
Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // email@example.com // +1 (951) 537-0454
Christian Craig 28
Glen Helen was pretty positive for me overall. I felt awesome all day and was excited for the day in general and motivated more than ever to show where I belong. In the first moto I got a great start and was running third almost the entire moto until Eli [Tomac] got me. I finished fourth, which is my best finish in a 450 moto. I was pumped with how I rode and where my fitness was. Knowing I’m able to run up front with the best in our sport is a good boost to my confidence. The second moto started out great too. I pulled the holeshot, led four laps, and then was passed by [Blake] Baggett and [Jason] Anderson. They were charging hard but I kept with them for a while. Twenty minutes in, my front end tucked on a jump and I went down hard. I punched the dirt with my hand and ended up getting a ‘boxer break.’ Luckily the break isn't nearly as bad as it could’ve been. I’ll be getting it plated on Monday and hope to be back on the bike within a couple weeks. Although my day ended with an injury, overall I'm pleased with my riding today and happy I was able to put my bike up front. I can't thank the entire team enough for always being positive and supporting me through the good and bad. I’m looking forward to getting back out front!
450 Moto 1 Results
|1||Musquin Marvin||25||FRA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|2||Tomac Eli||3||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|3||Grant Joshua||33||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|4||Craig Christian||28||USA||Star Racing Yamaha||Yamaha|
|5||Anderson Jason||21||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|6||Wilson Dean||15||GBR||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|8||Baggett Blake||4||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|9||Peick Weston||23||USA||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|10||Webb Cooper||2||USA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|12||Bogle Justin||19||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|13||Barcia Justin||51||USA||TLD/Red Bull GasGas||GasGas|
|14||Tickle Broc||20||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|15||Noren Fredrik||61||SWE||PR-MX Pelletier Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|16||Davalos Martin||47||ECU||Team Tedder||KTM|
|17||Cooper Cody||121||NZL||Crownkiwi Enterprise||Honda|
|18||Epstein Dillan||188||USA||Nut Up Industries/RBI Motorsports||Kawasaki|
|19||Alix Dakota||70||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|20||Bell Zach||44||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
450 Moto 2 Results
|1||Anderson Jason||21||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|2||Baggett Blake||4||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|3||Musquin Marvin||25||FRA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|4||Tickle Broc||20||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|5||Bogle Justin||19||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|6||Peick Weston||23||USA||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|7||Wilson Dean||15||GBR||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|9||Davalos Martin||47||ECU||Team Tedder||KTM|
|10||Barcia Justin||51||USA||TLD/Red Bull GasGas||GasGas|
|11||Noren Fredrik||61||SWE||PR-MX Pelletier Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|12||Epstein Dillan||188||USA||Nut Up Industries/RBI Motorsports||Kawasaki|
|13||Harrison Heath||USA||Got Gear Motorsports||Kawasaki|
|15||Alix Dakota||70||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|16||Mosiman Josh||42||USA||TLD/Red Bull GasGas||GasGas|
|17||Tomita Toshiki||718||JPN||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|18||Stewart Ronnie||606||USA||DirtCandy Graphics||Suzuki|
|19||Tomac Eli||3||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|20||Tedder Dakota||111||USA||Team Tedder/Monster Energy/Lucas Oil/KTM Racing||KTM|